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tv   [untitled]    August 25, 2010 11:00am-11:30am PST

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>> welcome to coulterwire. the san francisco arts commission and department of public works has joined forces by battling graffiti by launching a new program called street smarts. the program connects established artist with private property owners to create a vibrant murals which is a proven an
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effective strategy for combating graffiti on private property. artists, along with his crew, recently transformed a building turn to vandalism into a masterpiece. let us take a look. >> part of me has so much compassion for other graffiti artists. i understand why they are doing what they do. for me, it was something that was so hard to get out of. the lifestyle in general. j and tagging is addicting. i used to be on these routes. i have compassion for these guys. a lot of these guys are super talented. i am just trying to find the
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median to still be involved but still do my thing as an artist and work with the city, like we are doing. we are doing this wall in a collaboration with the san francisco arts commission. basically what they are doing is trying to get rid of some of the tags and by putting up murals. they are cooking up graffiti artists with business owners. today, we are trying to get a lot of this wall buffed out and covered it. then we will spray on some sketches of what we are going to do. the rain is coming tomorrow. it should be here for a few days. we want others to know that there are artists working on this wall. the owner of this building, she
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has had to pay a lot of money to keep on paying over these attacks. >> we have paid as much as $400. the fed typically have been talk about four times a year. typically, it happened right after we have been notified that we need to remove it. the painter will go up there and paid over the graffiti and make a perfect canvas for the tigers to come back. this program appeals to me because we were looking for a way to stop the taggers and the ugly graffiti. this program has beautiful work done by great artists that we thought would look great on our building. cameron talked about a few difficulties that he thought would be great. he called me and we talked about a theme of what he could do to the side of the building. he took some pictures and e-mail
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them to me. >> we are going to do all kinds of animals and plants. also, we are all to doing graffiti letters. if you one other taggers to respect our, you have to respect graffiti art. >> if you had a lot of characters in it, you will get more respect from business owners and stuff like that, but letters will give you the respect of the graffiti artists. i have actually had in my name in this patch of seaweed. >> what if we did it a giant blue whale? >> i was going to do a puffer
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fish. >> the program for the children is just so important. this is important, too, but you have to get at the kids to find out why they are doing it and direct them in more positive ways. i think what you are doing is great. >> have a good day. see you later. >> dana has been great, she has been a sport about the project. it was cool for her to see it and actually like it. as an artist, it means a lot to us. we are going to make it look really clean today. then it should be done. we have had this mural of for about six years and it has not
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been tagged. it really works as a deterrent. a lot of us graffiti artists have been waiting for an opportunity like this, to express ourselves on walls. and there are so many walls around the city that could be beautified. i am so thankful that this opportunity has come about. >> my word encourage anyone who is thinking about it to really jump on the bandwagon. it is looking beautiful. when i came here this morning, i was notified that taggers were there last night, but fortunately, they did not touch our building. >> to check out the mural in person, stop by 65 polk road. in addition to being a street smarts artist, he has been teaching students about the value for public space and
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creating public art for the communities through a program called where art lives. for a full list of other in your locations and to learn more about the efforts to combat vandalism, visit >> the san francisco arts commission's public arts program made a big splash in the civic center with the world premiere of three heads, six arms. the artist came from shanghai to help us celebrate the unavailing. we had a chance to speak with him about his work. >> the san francisco arts
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commission is pleased to be celebrating their relationship between san high and san francisco. the shanghai and san francisco. this is a 30 relationship that stretches back to win dianne feinstein was the mayor of san francisco. we premiered a new work of art here in san francisco called the three heads, six arms. welcome to san francisco. thank you for bringing your extraordinary sculpture. can you tell me about what inspired you to create this sculpture? >> this started with some trips that i took years ago.
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i went to to bed and i saw a lot of statues and i started to really feel the spiritual life of people in tibet. it really inspires me and i went back to shanghai and i started the creation of this. >> we see that one of the heads of the bullet it is your face. can you talk about the significance of that? -- we see that one of the heads of the buddha is your face. >> i started doing public art almost 10 years ago. what i want to express this as
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an extension of my our practice. this is an accumulation of my own experience as a performance artist. >> we see that the scale is very important. we have seen other works where a limb of this culture is on the floor but everything is very big and large scale. what are you trying to accomplish with expanding the scale of these images to such a great size. >> i wanted to make large scale
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art and see how this plays a role in contemporary society. i think that is the mission of contemporary art, to serve as a social critique. >> when the mayor knew some -- when mayor newsom join you in dedicating this, they wanted to find a work that was big and bold. he was so pleased with your participation that he made you an honoraria citizens of san francisco for the next 18 months. the public reaction has been very positive. what is your reaction of how people receive your sculpture? >> i think that san francisco has a long history.
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this gigantic sculpture is in front of the civic center. i know that that is not the kind of a go with whole environment. there is an exchange with the american culture and the asian culture which has created this very strong power. this power was created by east meets west may be is exactly what our mayor or the public wants. they will start to be curious and wonder how this is here and how we look at the asian culture. >> you have lived internationally, you have lived in cities like new york and beijing, now shanghai.
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you made a very conscious decision to lend this culture to san francisco as opposed to having it premier as an exhibition at another museum. >> i am very satisfied with the turnout and i lived in new york for 8 years and all of my children were born in new york. i already have the american spirit. i am proud to be here and i really appreciate the spirit of committing to things and being honored and being collaborative. when i flashed back to my career, i think about what an artist can do is a teeny tiny thing. i want to contribute to the
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hall human society. what art can do is just this tiny bit. >> your invitation has already proven to be a great success and we really look forward to spending time with your sculpture. thank you for being part of "culture wire." >> thank you for being part of this project. >> thank you for watching. join us for future episodes. you can >> welcome to "culture w" today we are visiting southern
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exposure in san francisco alison prepares to launch a fantastic new project called beautiful possibilities. we will send them on a two-year adventure crisscrossing the united states to investigate american history and contemporary culture. it is using a traveling road show as inspiration. she will sit down and talk with residents in search of stories and experiences that reveals exactly what makes us americans. >> beautiful possibility is a traveling research project that i will take on a five-month journey across the united states and lower canada. i document this tore on a map that i painted for the project and also from previous projects called the road map to lost america. on the map i have taken all of
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the contemporary borders off the map and replaced them with native territories, and then overlaid it with contemporary highways. i have scheduled venue stops at different areas along the tour, from california to south dakota, that will serve as headquarters for my local research. when i was researching the traveling medicine show, i came across this. they had put out an elixir, and it referred to the elements that came out because of the high stress, high-pressure life, mostly because of the industrial revolution. anyway, i was fascinated by the term american-itis, and i thought it did a lot about the stress-related illnesses, and i was impressed that they picked up on that and the 1800's.
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i did a survey to see if it was irrelevant element today. i have a series of eight painted banners that are retellings of american history. i am particularly interested in transition history between native and european histories and retelling them as if they were a popular myth. there is a mix of eras and characters and times drat these banners. -- and times throughout these banners. i use the olympics and the melting pot, or things reduced down, and come out of this reduction. and something else transforms out of it. they had this strict code of who we should be as americans, and then i had andrew jackson fanning the flames. this first contact, down to george bush in 2008.
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all of the characters that appear are real characters that are taken from my research. we are an interesting mix and i want to provoke wonder about who we are. every one of the characters are taken from actual photographs or documents that i found in my research on american history. in a lot of my banners, you conceal -- uc the melting pot, the imagery and myth that we use in our culture. talking about these reductions of all these different mixes of people, how you distill the experience. that is something i want to think about, collecting the ideas and ingredients, and i wanted to do the san francisco de lexie. -- elixir. we found a spring water underneath a church in cow hollow.
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we put rosebuds in the water to attract peace, and it made a meade. it was sitting in the gallery. we distill that through local herbs. it was really surprising how delicious it was, because we were mixing a lot of seemingly in congruent ingredients, and it was delicious and different from anything you have ever tasted. i would have been happy if it was medicinal. the idea was more important to me. but it was very good. it is something i think a lot about, especially transition history, native americans, how they have this combination of dress, from the clothing from trade companies, mixed with traditional dress. i love how reflective it is of who they are, and also the merging history's coming together. what would we look like if we carry our history with us? all of the merging of cultures,
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reflected in our address? i am thinking of my own history with early europeans coming in and intermixing with native cultures. the one thing i would like people to take away from after seeing my work is a sense of wonder and who we are as americans. that we are really these beautiful mixes of people and we should really be looking backwards at who we are. i think we are all kind of historians in our own life, and there are great presidents behind us -- president behind us that could give us insight into who we are. >> oliver road trip on her website. check at often. new experiences will be added after every stop.
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>> welcome to culture wire. did you know the city of san francisco has an art collection consisting of 3500 objects? the collection ranges from painting and public buildings to murals, and from bronze busts in city halls, to cite specific structures. at this time, many of the large works are in desperate need of repair, and a long-term innovative solution is needed to make sure these public treasures will be cared for. >> the story of the arts commission program begins with ruth fromstein. 2010 marks her 50th year as an art dealer.
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at the helm of the county, she had represented some of the most notable of bay area artists, and continues to look for new talent. >> the artists that i represent, what do i choose them, if asked to do with a background of what the gallery is about. i love the idea of finding new guys and watching them grow. it is the old fashioned way of having a nunnery, which is having a stable. what you have is loyalty to them, artists are loyal to you. the philosophy behind that, my philosophy, has not changed since i started 49 years ago. i take care of you and you take care of me. it has been that way ever since. >> ruth represents the estate of the world renowned sculptor
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peter focused. in 1971, he created and the love the untitled public work cited at seventh and bryant. like many other public works of art, this is in need of repair. ruth began conversations with the director of cultural affairs, a andart care was born. >> we look at all of the local pieces and decided which one needed the most repair, to bring it back to where it was before. that is what i am after. if you drive by right now, you cannot see it coming down seventh street. you can only see it as you come up to it. >> one's culture outside of the hall of justice was one of the
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first pieces commissioned after the 1969 ordinance. it is significant that we are planning to treat it as part of the art care program. the program intends to take care of the bronze sculpture located in very park, a monument to the korean community of san francisco. it has been in the park for over 20 years, has become a bit of a magnet for vandalism. we are also looking at several sculptures from henry more, one in front of the symphony building. we are also looking at yen and yang, a much loved peace -- piece. but the team has been damaged over time, so we need to treat -- patina has been damaged over time, so we need to treat it. >> roof and was given a lifetime
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award for her contributions to and influence over the bay area artist community. >> the lifetime achievement award -- it is embarrassing to me but i have to learn to accept it. this is the way it is. also, everybody here is good things happening about them after they are dead. i have the opportunity to see this happen while i am still lives. i look at this award as an opportunity for me to find a place for my craft and keep the art program going. >> the director of the program address the crowd and ask for each member to consider donating funds to help save some of san francisco's most important neighborhood landmarks. >> as one of san francisco's
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living treasures, we respect you and, frankly, we are in off -- awe of your 50 years of tireless effort as an early art on from for north. >> i would like to be perhaps the first donation to our care and present you with a check to get the ball rolling. >> because i know that the arts commission is very sincere about this, i'm going to make a personal commitment of $10,000. [applause] >> what is significant about the program is the way it is set out allows us to treat the artworks that have the most need, the ones that our conservative have pointed out as the most vulnerable as opposed to ones that might be the most popular were the most miserable -- the most visible. >> it is an opportunity for the public to get involved with these art works located in their backyard and ultimately belong to them. >> i want to do something for the community, just giving back
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what the community has done for me. it is corny to say, but it is true. it really is what it is. that i would be able to see more pieces cleanup. >>" will check back in the future and see the fruits of conservation and revitalization efforts. if you would find out more or donate to the art carethe donate to the art carethe artsfartcommission.org. >> with my artists, eight of them are working in tehran,
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iran, the capital city, and one is an iranian american based in san francisco. the problem is really a collective exploration in the day and the life in tehran. it is the largest city in the middle east. for the gallery, one of the first pieces you see is one piece which is a laser-cut peace, it taken directly from the map of the city itself -- a laser-cut piece. it represents the geography of the city. it is positioned right next to another work by an artist who took a 77 taxicab runs and let the potholes and the city turns of tehran dictate how the city would be portrayed. >>

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